Buhari Catholic Bishops blame Nigeria's problems on President's failed promises

The group said President Buhari has failed to keep his word on his commitment to "national integration and cohesion".

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Shugaban kasa yana jimamin Kanti Bello play President Muhammadu Buhari has been accused of not keeping his promise to be fair to everyone
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The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has blamed the country's problems with protests and agitations on President Muhammadu Buhari's failed promise on being a fair leader to everyone.

According to a communique issued by the group's president, Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, at the end of a meeting in Taraba state, President Buhari has failed to keep his word on his commitment to "national integration and cohesion" as he promised in his inaugural speech after he was sworn in on May 29, 2015.

The statement urged the government to do its best and address the problems of perceived sectional injustice as a way to curb the menace of violent agitations currently flooding the southeast.

They also called out to dissenting groups to do away with violence and embrace more peaceful means to make their voices heard through legitimate channels.

The statement read, "In his inaugural speech as civilian president of Nigeria on 29 May 2015, the president sent out a message of hope and of his commitment to national integration and cohesion.

"He said: 'Having just a few minutes ago sworn on the Holy Book, I intend to keep my oath and serve as President to all Nigerians. I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody. A few people have privately voiced fears that on coming back to office I shall go after them. These fears are groundless. There will be no paying off old scores.'

"More than two years later, the reality on ground and the verdict of most of our people across the nation - irrespective of religious affiliation, ethnic group or social status - point to the contrary.

"The inability of the government to address the inequitable situation in the country has provided breeding ground for violent reactions, protests and agitations, which exploit the grievances of different segments of the country.

"We call on government at all levels to urgently address these anomalies, remove everything that smacks of injustice, and give everybody and every part of our country a sense of belonging.

"We insist that merit and ability should be the primary criteria in making appointments and genuine needs the criteria for the distribution of amenities.

"We also urge the government to be always sensitive to the multi-religious and multi-ethnic configuration of the nation.

"On the other hand, we enjoin all aggrieved persons and groups to employ peaceful means within the framework of the existing laws of the land to express their grievances or even exercise legitimate pressure on the Government.

"Care must be taken by all to avoid actions and utterances capable of causing yet another armed conflict in the nation or any of its parts."

The statement also called for caution with the government's approach towards agitators, saying, the nervousness among the populace has the "potential of igniting a fire that could turn into an uncontrollable conflagration."

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The deployment of soldiers in the southeast for Operation Python Dance II has led to clashes in Abia state this week with members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and their leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

The clashes between the opposing sides led to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, declaring a dusk to dawn curfew that was extended till Sunday, September 17.

Another curfew was declared in Plateau state late on Thursday, September 15 after two people were killed in a clash that broke out between Igbos and Hausas in Jos-Bukuru metropolis, an escalation of the tension generated by agitations for secession by members of IPOB in Abia state.

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